Curated research library of TV news clips regarding the NSA, its oversight and privacy issues, 2009-2014

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Primary curation & research: Robin Chin, Internet Archive TV News Researcher; using TV News Archive service.

Speakers

Sheldon Whitehouse
U.S. Senator, D-Rhode Island
CSPAN 07/31/2013
Whitehouse 4A: off if there is not such a strong instinct in favor of classifying and keeping things classified and we developed information for the American public in a way that minimized that intelligence collection loss and allowed us to have this debate. Thank you.
Sheldon Whitehouse
U.S. Senator, D-Rhode Island
CSPAN 07/31/2013
Whitehouse continued 1: the executive branch were the declassifiers. And we were stuck with facts that we knew that blew up the argument that was being made by the executive branch but that we could not articulate because they were classified. We’ve seen it on cyber where so much of the American pubic are unaware of the cyber threat we’re facing. Now thankfully
Sheldon Whitehouse
U.S. Senator, D-Rhode Island
CSPAN 07/31/2013
Whitehouse continued 2: we are becoming more aware. But for a long time we were just in the dark about what was going on because the private sector, companies didn't want to talk about it for fear of aggravating their regulators, their consumers, their clients, even giving their competitors advantage and the government just wildly over classified everything. Now we have, I think, a terrific article that Senator Feinstein wrote. We have I think
Sheldon Whitehouse
U.S. Senator, D-Rhode Island
CSPAN 07/31/2013
Whitehouse continued 3: We have very good testimony by Bob Mueller. We have a lot of good information out there that helps the American public understand these programs. But it all came out late. It all came out in response to a leaker. There was no organized plan for how we rationally declassify this so that the American people can participate in the debate. I think there’s an
Sheldon Whitehouse
U.S. Senator, D-Rhode Island
CSPAN 07/31/2013
Whitehouse continued 4: executive branch reaction towards classification. I think that reaction is in part because of the advantage it gives the executive branch relative to the legislative branch, which can’t be classified. And I think over and over again we found that looking back we’re worse off for that effort in the first instance. So I would really urge you to take a look at this. And you know when this thing burst, there is this old saying of, I'm not going to get exactly right, but there’s something about, the rumor
Sheldon Whitehouse
U.S. Senator, D-Rhode Island
CSPAN 07/31/2013
Whitehouse continued 5: is all the way across town before the truth can even get its boots on. You’ve lived that experience in the last couple of months. I hope this has an effect on you because this it is a recurring problem. And we really need to be balancing much more carefully the value of declassification against the value of classification. I think you guys are terribly one-sided, in favor of classification. And then something like this comes and pow, you’re still trying to get your boots on
Sheldon Whitehouse
U.S. Senator, D-Rhode Island
CSPAN 07/31/2013
Whitehouse continued 6: because you never took the appropriate steps to put news out about this program that would have avoided, I think, a lot of this. And I’d like you to have a chance to react to that. Cole: I think you make a valid point. These are all topics that we need to debate. They’re not easy topics because they involve again that same balancing. The same balancing that we are trying to do between
Sheldon Whitehouse
U.S. Senator, D-Rhode Island
CSPAN 07/31/2013
Cole continued: national security and civil liberties. And what kinds of programs we put into place to gain intelligence information. it is the same kind of debate we need to have about what’s classified and what’s not classified and what secrets we let out. If it was easy, we would be having this left and right. From what I’ve seen, that the executive branch is doing it, to disadvantage the legislative branch. Whitehouse: it does have that effect. Cole: It may have that effect. And I would concede that. Whitehouse: I think it’s done
Sheldon Whitehouse
U.S. Senator, D-Rhode Island
CSPAN 07/31/2013
Whitehouse continued 1A : because people are cautious. And it is easier to over classify than to under classify. It is safer to over classify than to under classify. –and now we’re having to get in and into the hard work of finding just where that line is and that’s a difficult jobs to do but’s it’s worth doing. Whitehouse: ..or something like that happens or the torture program gets exposed or we have a significant cyber attack or something happens
Sheldon Whitehouse
U.S. Senator, D-Rhode Island
CSPAN 07/31/2013
Whitehouse continued 2A: that shows that that short term decision, that it was easier to classify, was actually the wrong decision. Litt: I just want to add on this, and I know you are familiar with what I'm going to say. We are having a public debate now but that public debate is not without cost. The information that has been leaked is going to do damage to our ability to protect the nation. We are going to lose capabilities. People are paying attention to this. The way that typically the Congress, both through the legislation it passes and through its own internal rules, has historically sought to achieve the balance between appropriate oversight of intelligence activities and the need
Sheldon Whitehouse
U.S. Senator, D-Rhode Island
CSPAN 07/31/2013
Whitehouse continued 3A: to protect sources and methods is through, primarily the intelligence committee but also some other committees of Congress, this committee, the armed services committee, the appropriations committees. And Typically, that’s the forum that has been used to strike this balance. It may be Whitehouse: We all get that. My time has expired so let me just jump in and say we all get that My point is, that the American public is an important part of this debate and we would probably be better
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